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Spotify made headlines when it made a deal with podcasting stalwart Joe Rogan to host his podcast exclusivity, in a rumored $100M deal.

Spotify kicked off its venture into podcasting in early 2019, after acquiring podcast companies Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast. Since then, the company has bought sports and entertainment news company The Ringer, as well as Megaphone, which will bolster its ad tech business. It also spent what’s likely millions gaining the exclusive rights to stream celebrity podcasts, including those from Joe RoganKim Kardashian West, Michelle Obama, and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The idea was that by bringing exclusive content to the app, the company could strengthen its advertising business as well as bring in Premium subscribers. Investors seemed to like the message, sending the stock up 31.76% in 2019 and 110.4% in 2020.

“To date, we have not seen a material positive inflection in app downloads or Premium subscriptions,” the Citi analysts wrote.


It seems like it’s paid tiers may need to be reconsidered.